The Dutch Montagu’s Harrier Foundation (the Netherlands)
The Dutch Montagu’s Harrier Foundation is a small but effective species protection organisation. The foundation targets endangered birds that have arable land as habitat. It focuses on Montagu’s Harrier, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Rough-legged Buzzard, Short-eared Owl, Skylark, Yellow Wagtail and Grey Partridge.
Key characteristic of the working method is to connect scientific research to appropriate conservation measures. Departing from the ecological needs of the target species, the research broadens to the ecological system of its habitat (for instance vole abundance in arable land). The species’ ecology (habitat use, diet, breeding biology etc.) is researched year-round, which means that Montagu’s Harriers are also being followed to their wintering sites in the Sahel, where again they stay in farmland habitats.
The Montagu’s Harrier Foundation’s lobby played a decisive role in the incorporation of protection measures (more specific: providing foraging habitat for farmland birds) in agri-environmental schemes. Best known is the so-called ‘Bird Field’, which combines multiannual protein crops to set-aside strips. Recently, the foundation is engaged in ‘nature-inclusive’ agriculture, a.o. developing crop rotation schemes that benefits farmland birds.
The foundation is engaged in the protection of farmland birds since 1990. The knowledge and experience of the Dutch Montagu’s Harrier Foundation is internationally renowned, which has led to cooperation with research institutions on three continents, in all cases never forgetting the need for field research as the starting point for effective nature conservation.
By becoming a member of Eurosite we aim to broaden our network of nature conservation organisations, share our knowledge and exchange experience, as well as forging new coalitions that will benefit nature in its broadest sense.